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Ramonville-Saint-Agne, France

Verger A.,University of Limoges | Pothier A.,University of Limoges | Guines C.,University of Limoges | Crunteanu A.,University of Limoges | And 5 more authors.
IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium Digest | Year: 2010

This paper presents a novel mechanical design applied to RF MEMS miniature capacitors. The main idea is to take benefit of superior structural material properties in order to enhance both switching speeds and reliability of RF MEMS components. As a proof of concept, miniature micro-beams fabricated from a composite multilayer assembly have demonstrated switching time lower than 50 ns. To our knowledge, it is the first time that such switching speed reconfiguration is shown on RF MEMS structure. Such performance has been possible by using a nanogap electrostatic actuators combined 4 MHz mechanical structures. Several RF MEMS switched capacitors have been fabricated with capacitance ratio between 2.4 to 2.8. © 2010 IEEE. Source


Broue A.,NOVAMEMS | Broue A.,CNRS Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems | Broue A.,Toulouse 1 University Capitole | Dhennin J.,NOVAMEMS | And 7 more authors.
Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) | Year: 2010

This paper reports the comparisons between several pairs of contact materials for micro switches. This study is done with a new methodology using a commercial nanoindenter coupled with electrical stimulation of test vehicles specially designed. The stability of the contact resistance, when the contact force increases, is studied for contact pairs of soft (Au/Au contact), harder (Ru/Ru contact) and mixed material configuration (Au/Ru contact). An enhanced stability of the bimetallic contact Au/Ru was demonstrated considering the sensitivity to power increase, and related topological modifications of the contact surfaces. ©2010 IEEE. Source


Verger A.,University of Limoges | Pothier A.,University of Limoges | Guines C.,University of Limoges | Crunteanu A.,University of Limoges | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering | Year: 2010

This paper presents a new mechanical architecture for RF MEMS components that are able to achieve reconfiguration faster than conventional MEMS switches. For most MEMS switches, the electrical switching speed is generally limited to a few microseconds, inherently restricted by the delay required to mechanically move their mobile membrane up and down. By using a proper mechanical design and the structural material fabrication process, this paper will show miniature bridges that are able to exhibit mechanical resonance frequencies over 10 MHz range to be compared to the few tens of kHz for conventional RF MEMS switches. As a result, the switching speed of these miniature components is greatly improved and reaches 50 to 100 ns. Such performance has been achieved using composite micro-beams based on the multilayer material assembly of alumina/aluminum/alumina. To our knowledge, this is the fastest switching speed reported for RF MEMS components so far. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd. Source


Broue A.,NOVAMEMS | Broue A.,French Atomic Energy Commission | Broue A.,Roche Holding AG | Broue A.,Toulouse 1 University Capitole | And 9 more authors.
Electrical Contacts, Proceedings of the Annual Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts | Year: 2010

A systematic comparison between several pairs of contact materials based on an innovative methodology early developed at NOVA MEMS is hereby presented. The technique exploits a commercial nanoindenter coupled with electrical measurements, and test vehicles specially designed in order to investigate the underlying physics driving the surface-related failure modes. The study provides a comprehensive understanding of micro-contact behavior with respect to the impact of low- to medium levels of electrical current. The decrease of the contact resistance, when the contact force increases, is measured for contact pairs of soft material (Au/Au contact), harder materials (Ru/Ru and Rh/Rh contacts) and mixed configuration (Au/Ru and Au/Ni contacts). The contact temperatures have been calculated and compared to the theoretical values of softening temperature for each couple of contact materials. This threshold temperature is reached for gold, ruthenium and rhodium material, with different levels of current intensity. In spite of that, no softening behavior has been observed for mixed contact at the theoretical softening temperature of both materials. Hence, considering the sensitivity to power handling and the related failure mechanisms, namely the contact adhesion, the enhanced resilience of the bimetallic contacts Au/Ru and Au/Ni was demonstrated. Finally focusing on the temperature distribution around the hottest levels on the surface contact interface, these results have been theoretically investigated. ©2010 IEEE. Source


Broue A.,NOVAMEMS | Broue A.,CNRS Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems | Broue A.,University Of Toulouse Ups | Dhennin J.,NOVAMEMS | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Microwave and Wireless Technologies | Year: 2012

A systematic comparison between several pairs of contact materials based on an innovative methodology early developed at NOVA MEMS is hereby presented. The technique exploits a commercial nanoindenter coupled with electrical measurements, and test vehicles specially designed to investigate the underlying physics driving the surface-related failure modes. The study provides a comprehensive understanding of micro-contact behavior with respect to the impact of low-to-medium levels of electrical current. The decrease of the contact resistance, when the contact force increases, is measured for contact pairs of soft material (Au/Au contact), harder materials (Ru/Ru and Rh/Rh contacts), and mixed configuration (Au/Ru and Au/Ni contacts). The contact temperatures have been calculated and compared with the theoretical values of softening temperature for each couple of contact materials. No softening behavior has been observed for mixed contact at the theoretical softening temperature of both materials. The enhanced resilience of the bimetallic contacts Au/Ru and Au/Ni is demonstrated. Copyright © 2012 Cambridge University Press and the European Microwave Association. Source

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